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**Who are The Magnetic Fields**
The Magnetic Fields is fronted by Stephin Merritt and contains three other members, Claudia Gonson, Sam Davol and John Woo. They are based in Boston, MA and have active since 1989. Their music is difficult to catagorise and has been called "synthpop", "indiepop", "noisepop" and "folkpop". Merritt who writes the lyrics to the songs and is known for singing about love, albeit in a bitter and ironic way but also with a touch of humour.
**So what's on this album?**
Realism has just been released and is the third album in The Magnetic Fields collection of "non-synth" albums the first two being "i" (2004) and "Distortion" (2008) but it is their ninth album overall.
Realism contains thirteen new songs from the band.
Usually I would go through each song describing it's features but I have found it too hard to do for this album. For people unfamiliar with Merritt's previous works - the songs are just weird but in a fantastic way. Humourous but without sounding like spoof songs.
For people familiar with Merritt - he's just as sarcastic and witty as ever.
The first song "you must be out of your mind" has an annoying tendency to get stuck in my head for hours on end. With it's mixture of stinged instruments and catchy chorus.
Other songs include "everything is one big Christmas tree" which sounds like a Christmas carol....but listening to the lyrics it is sarcastic and highights the crappy but true parts of Christmas.
"Seduced and abandoned" is about Merritt imagining he was pregnant...yes it is that peculiar...behind the light hearted humour there are fantastic lyrics. I love this song.
There is nobody you can directly compare The Magnetic Fields to, listening to them is a unique experience.
I would say if you like the sound of The Smiths, Divine Comedy or Belle and Sebastian then The Magnetic Fields are worth a listen.
If you are completely new to them then this is not the best album to give them a chance....try "69 Love Songs" instead, most Magnetic Fields fans consider this to be their finest works and I must say I do prefer it to this album.
Realism is available on Amazon for less that £10, not exactly a bargain but not overpriced in my opinion.
This album is a little bit funny, a lot quirky and even more enjoyable.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 You Must Be Out Of Your Mind
3 We Are Having A Hootenanny
4 I Don't Know What To Say
5 Dolls' Tea Party, The
6 Everything Is One Big Christmas Tree
7 Walk A Lonely Road
8 Always Already Gone
9 Seduced And Abandoned
10 Better Things
11 Painted Flower
12 Dada Polka, The
13 From A Sinking Boat